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Match Report: Strikers v Hurricanes

13 November 2021

Adelaide Strikers have made it three in a row in Weber WBBL|07, claiming victory over Hobart Hurricanes in Mackay by 48 runs.

The win restores Adelaide inside the top four of the competition with games in hand on those above and four fixtures left to play, including three on home turf.

Hobart won the flip at Great Barrier Reef Stadium to kick-off the first of two double-headers this weekend, choosing to send the Strikers in to bat. Taylor Vlaeminck was on target from the outset, extracting swing and bounce to have the opener pair of Dané van Niekerk and Katie Mack struggling to get the ball away.

Following a Player of the Match performance in Adelaide earlier this week, Mack became Vlaeminck’s first victim on the final ball of the opening over, forced to return to the rooms with just one run.

Laura Wolvaardt then joined her South African teammate in the middle, a partnership that has already yielded plenty of runs this season, and again it didn’t disappoint. The two added 47 in quick time before Wolvaardt feathered one through to Rachel Priest to bring the pairing to an end.

The skipper Tahlia McGrath then joined van Niekerk, with the two setting about compiling a defendable total beneath perfect blue skies. The latter showcased plenty of inventive strokes on her way to a thrilling 44 from 38, another vital contribution in a recent run of strong form.

McGrath, fresh off an unbeaten 40, struggled at times to get the ball away, but such is the allrounders skill and determination, she found the boundary several times in the final overs to push the total past 140. In thrilling signs for the Strikers, the explosive right-hander has now amassed 78 runs in two games without being dismissed at a strike-rate well over 100.

Bridget Patterson also played a much-needed cameo with the bat, crunching 25 from 17 before being dismissed on the final ball of the innings, but not before launching a huge six to get the Strikers to 4/142.

Hobart’s chase was dealt a deadly blow early, as it quickly became apparent that Darcie Brown was feeing perfectly comfortable in the Mackay sunshine. Eight balls into her opening spell, the teenager had both Hurricanes openers back in the sheds as she got the Strikers away to a flyer in the field.

Brilliant work and safe hands in the field from Patterson and Maddie Penna ensured the steady stream of wickets, but the shining moment in the field came when Amanda-Jade Wellington threw down the stumps to send Nicola Carey packing.

When Brown rattled the stumps of international Richa Ghosh, the Hurricanes were 5/44 and staring down the barrel of defeat. Any hope of recovery was extinguished in back-to-back balls when Megan Schutt trapped Molly Strano LBW to finish a brilliant spell, and van Niekerk began her spell by claiming Moloney caught and bowled.

Amanda-Jade Wellington joined in with two wickets of her own to finish the contest, one that saw a full team performance that will put the competition on watch heading into the final week of the campaign before finals.

The Strikers will look to continue their fine run of form tomorrow when they take on Brisbane Heat at the same venue. Play begins at 9.45am ACDT, with fans able to tune in via Channel Seven, ABC Sport, Foxtel and Kayo Sports.